(Died 249 AD)
In 249 AD, there was a mass persecution of Christians in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. A magician of that city incited the pagans to harass, capture, torture and kill Christians who would not renounce their faith. Among them was St. Apollonia, a deaconess and aged virgin. The mob bashed out her teeth and leading her outside the gates of the city she was given the choice of either renouncing Christ or burning alive in a huge bonfire they had kindled there. Apollonia remained silent for a moment of contemplation. Perhaps overtaken by holy inspiration she walked into the flames.
Apollonia became an example to many Christian martyrs of that city and elsewhere who followed her. It is said that eventually judges themselves were struck with amazement at the multitudes who came spontaneously to receive the crown of martyrdom. Women triumphed over torture, until finally the judges were glad to execute them at once and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.
Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: Pio, J. (2020, Feb. 10). St. Apollonia. Catholic Restoration. https://catholic-restoration.com/2020/02/09/saint-apollonia-3/